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Grant's Indian is a novel based on the life of Ely Parker, a Seneca Indian who — as Ulysses Grant's military secretary — penned the surrender at Appomattox.
The story encompasses Parker's youth as an Indian boy in … MORE »
The ultimate lesson, obtained through his young wife's urging, to not to identify oneself as an Indian or a white, but to "Just be a man!" CLOSE »
If you've ever wanted to learn more about America's Civil War, Peter Johnson's Grant's Indian is the book for you.
With the skill of a talented writer, Johnson brings this pivotal period in American history to life with vivid characters and sound research. The story — told through the eyes of Grant's Indian aide de camp and Seneca Indian chief, Ely Parker &mdash brings the reader into the thick of battle in horrifying detail. Along the way, there is insight into the drama of key military decisions that ultimately determined the outcome of the war.
Parker meets the future commander of Union forces at the back of a general store in Grant's hometown of Galena, Ill. You can almost smell the cigar smoke as the men gather to discuss politics and scandals, priorities and prejudices in 19th Century America. Grant himself is portrayed as a rough Army regular whose blunt ways and drinking habits make him an unlikely hero. But it is ultimately through the character of Ely, who falls in love and marries the step-daughter of a Union officer, that we discover the challenges and rewards of living in this complicated and racially-divided world.